GUEST POST: WRITTEN BY GABRIELLE AITKEN
"In the being the doing is done" -- Cass Phelps
Why is it that we feel like we have to be "doing" in order to be achieving?" I've lived much of my life this way; either rushing around like a madwoman on a mission to achieve this goal or that; or on the very rare occasion (such as when on holiday, in the instance of illness or just due to pure exhaustion), feeling guilty for not rushing around like a madwoman on a mission.
It's almost like, from the moment I popped out into the world in this lifetime, I had the urge to do, do, do. Through much self-analysis I have several theories as to why this is the case, which I won't bore you with. Suffice to say, for as long as I can consciously remember, and even going back beyond conscious memory as recounted by my parents, I have been on a mission to do this, that or the other.
ARE YOU DO-ING TOO MUCH?
I was never one of those kids who was content in front of the television for hours on end. I had to be doing something productive, from sending new Barbie concepts to Mattel, to writing and illustrating story books, to studying to get straight A's. As I got older it was running marathons and half marathon triathlons, studying an MBA, climbing the corporate ladder, starting a business...
There is absolutely nothing wrong with such pursuits per se, and I am still a believer that, generally speaking, one's time is probably better spent somewhere other than watching mindless television for hours on end (although I have come to appreciate that this too can have it's time and place). It's when we use such goals and pursuits to define our sense of self that we start to enter risky territory.
For many years, I have started the New Year with a list of goals that I plan to accomplish in the year ahead; a checklist for living my life by. And then I've applied the ferocity of a bat out of hell to tick them all off by the year end. What's more my sense of accomplishment and self-worth has been directly proportional to what I have or haven't achieved in any given year.
THE POWER OF BEING-NESS
Somewhere along the way I seem to have missed the lesson on how to 'be'. In actual fact, I think that as western society, we have long forgotten the simple art of being; of allowing ourselves the time and space to connect with our inner selves and bask in our inner beauty. We tend to define ourselves by what we do, not simply by who we are when we strip our roles and accomplishments away.
The New Year, I have not sent any goals ("shock horror" I hear those who know me gasp). Instead, my new philosophy is "inspired being". Don't get me wrong. I don't intend to sit on my butt and do nothing all year. However, over the last 12 months I have been learning that much to my amazement and dismay, to quote Cass Phelps, "in the being the doing is done"
In other words, if we give ourselves the rest, time and space, we can open ourselves up to tune in to the magic of the Universe. We move from a state of "pushing to achieve" to "allowing" our lives to flow with ease...and ironically can actually achieve a whole lot more in the process. What's more, the things that we do achieve are more likely to be aligned with our soul purpose and create a deeper sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
By spending time each day journaling, in meditation, walking in nature, resting and simply sitting and being (sans TV) - all things that I would have once considered lazy and a hindrance to my pursuit of "more important" goals - we can unleash out inner creativity and inspiration, and generate the impetus to effortlessly conceive and complete whole projects or works of art in record time. In a state of inspired being it no longer feels like we have to work hard to achieve our goals, it simply flows out of us.
Why didn't I get onto this sooner?!! I finally think I'm getting the hang of what it means to be a human being rather than a human doing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This post was written by Gabrielle Aitken, Inner Beauty Stylist and inspirer of Appreciation, Respect and Love (a.k.a Aprelo). Want to know more? You can read more from Aprelo here, or connect on Facebook and Twitter.